The Guard

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Electricity, water intertwined: Mahlobo

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – The deputy minister of water and sanitation says electricity and water are two intertwined commodities.

David Mahlobo was explaining how poor electricity supply affects the supply of water, at the signing ceremony of the Distribution Agreement Agency between Eskom and Maluti-a-phofung local municipality in Qwaqwa.

“When there is no electricity, we are unable to pump water into the reservoirs, and they cannot get filled up.

“The waste water treatment plant was affected and sewage was getting pumped into our rivers.

“I am happy that the executive distribution director of Eskom Comrade Monde Bala and his entire team are here today. Shortage of electricity here was causing a lot of problems; there were issues of crime, and hospitals and schools could not work. But to Eskom, we want to say thank you that for more than 40 days there is electricity in the country with no loadshedding.

Now that we are here today, we have prevented the latter. We want to say thank you that we have reached this milestone, but we have not arrived at the end point. This is the beginning of everything,” Mahlobo said.

Among those who attended the ceremony were the premier of Free State, Mxolisi Dukwana who lead the process as well as electricity minister Kgosientso Ramokgopa, some deputy ministers as well as MECs from the provincial government, the Director General and heads of departments.

Mahlobo highlighted the progress made but admitted to challenges encountered. He said people of Maluti-a-Phofung must never forget where they come from.

Water and Sanitation deputy minister David Mahlobo.

“In terms of water supply there is progress made but there are still some communities here that do not have water. We must address that problem. One of the problems you had is that you have two supply systems of getting water. You got water from Fika Patso dam, which was supplying 80 percent of the population.

The other source was ground water; we had boreholes even at the university. But through raising your concerns, the government took a decision for a pipe to be connected at Sterkfontein so that you can get water.”